Lives End

Last evening my friend Jon Larsen died of a heart attack. This week three friends passed away. It is a strong reminder that lives end. All lives. People of faith, disbelief, and outright rejection of faith. All three of these men were faithful, believing, and committed to following God. Although Jon died quickly, both of the others had illnesses that allowed them to contemplate passing, and they left this world hopeful and optimistic about the world to come.

Faith not only enriches life here, it allows us to cheerfully surrender it when life ends. That value is beyond gold. It cannot be purchased with money. It can only be acquired by having faith, which brings hope.

It is like a story told by the Lord: And then at that day, the moment of your death shall be likened unto ten virgins who took their lamps and went forth to die, and five of them were wise and five of them were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. And at the moment of darkness when a cry of death was heard, “go out to meet it!” Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us your faith, for our hope is gone out. But the wise answered, saying, we cannot give to you what you alone are able to acquire. And the moment came. And they that were ready went out with joy, hope and glory, and the door to glory was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, we now believe. But He answered them not, and their passing was fearful. Watch, therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour when life ends.

These men of faith are mourned because we lose their companionship temporarily, but not because they died without hope. They leave us likewise hopeful that we can one day also be with them again.